The Works (partially found unfinished computer-animated film; 1979-1986)

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Works array-2.jpeg

A collage of images from the film.

Status: Partially Found

The Works is a shelved computer-animated film that was worked on sporadically from 1979 to 1986 by the Computer Graphics Lab at the New York Institute of Technology.

Had it been completed, it would have been the first computer-animated film in history, predating Pixar's Toy Story by almost a decade.


The screenplay, written by Lance Williams, focuses on a world where all human life on Earth was exterminated during World War Three, and the only survivor was a military computer called The Works. The surviving humans created an advanced civilization of futuristic oxygen bubbles on a series of asteroids. 2000 years after the war, a young space pilot named Beeper encounters an unknown ship containing a robot named Ipso Facto. He reveals he was sent on a diplomatic mission by Selene, a computer complex from a robot base on the Moon, to find a human being to travel to Earth and convince The Works to share the history and knowledge of the entire human race trapped in its memory banks. However, The Works catches wind of the plan and believes Beeper is a robot sent by Selene to trick them. When Beeper and Ipso Facto land on Earth, they find that The Works is sending out all its robot armies to hunt them down, so they must find a way into the headquarters of The Works while surviving a series of robot attacks. The film was the brainchild of entrepreneur and "eccentric millionaire" Dr. Alexander Schure, founder of the New York Institute of Technology.

Development and Availability

The Computer Graphics Lab at NYIT was originally intended to produce computer tools to help traditional animators with the OR work, but soon 3D computer graphics became the prime focus of the Lab. The Works was greenlit by Schure as a way to test and demonstrate what computer animation could do for the entertainment industry. According to Wikipedia, famous industry professionals like Chuck Jones and Shamus Culhane toured the Lab while the film was being produced.[1] No sources indicate how much of the film was actually completed, although production stills[2] and a short video have surfaced.

In November 2021, the script for The Works was uploaded to Google Drive by user Maximized Animation after communication with Lance Williams' widow.[3]


A rare trailer for the film.
A clip from The Works, circa 1984.


  1. The film's article on Wikipedia. Retrieved 01 Jan '14.
  2. Production stills. Retrieved 01 Jan '14.
  3. Script to The Works Retrieved 05 Nov '21.